Hola I am Chiqui or Chiquita. I am the lucky one.
I was born in Honduras not so long ago, only about a year or year and a half ago. My mother gave birth in the bush somewhere and had to work hard to keep me and my siblings alive. People threw rocks at her when she tried to get or steal some food and she had to fight other dogs. I was left alone very soon.
Since then I’ve lived in San Lorenzo. Until today. When two people from far away took me from the street.
I became a mother few weeks ago. Yesterday I hid my puppies well, into the bushes and went to town to find something to eat. I felt very weak actually, always hungry as the puppies eat a lot and ticks and fleas eat me alive as well. I was crossing the street close to the central park when I saw a big thing coming onto me. It was so sudden, I couldn’t do anything. It hit me hard and went over me. Twice. First wheel, second wheel. The car didn’t stop and just kept on driving.
I crawled from the road and managed to lie down on the pavement. My leg was bleeding and I couldn’t walk properly. It hurt so much. People were passing by, gave me a usual “street dog” look and continued walking. Nobody stopped.
Then two humans on bicycles passed. They stopped few metres away in front of my favourite pupuseria. They had this funny crate on wheels with them, I’ve never seen that in my life. Suddenly one of them came to me. He was talking in a nice calm voice but I didn’t understand a word. He looked at my legs. I was panting with pain and heat as the pavement was still hot even though the sun was about to set. He went away and came back with a bowl of water. I didn’t want to drink, everything was hurting so much. He tried to put some water on my lips and nose but I didn’t lick. I was very confused what’s happening, I haven’t felt such pain ever, not even when giving birth to my babies.
He went back to the other cyclist and they talked. Then he went to the other side of the road to speak to some men. I remember these men sitting there when I was crawling from the road. He looked at me and had tears in his eyes. He tried to pick me up but I was so scared that I peed. He’s a human after all. I knew I needed to go to my babies. So I tried walking. It wasn’t easy, I was limping as I couldn’t use my left hind leg. This guy with one other man was following me around the park. I was really tired of limping so I let him come closer and sniffed his hand. And then he picked me up. I couldn’t do anything and really didn’t have strength to fight him. I decided he’s my friend. The young man was asking the older one, if there’s a car available that could take me to the vet. There wasn’t. He brought me to the girl and the bicycles and they tried to give me water again but I didn’t want any.
Finally I could see that inside that funny thing on wheels are dogs like me. The girl took them out of the crate and the man put me in. I’ve never been in such a thing before. But it was nice and soft and seemed comfy so I lied down and let them close the crate. What is happening to me? The crate started moving! The other two dogs were running by these two humans on the streets of San Lorenzo.
We arrived to a house with many big red cars. There were some men in there and the cyclists called them bomberos. We all went in.
“We’ll sleep here tonight, Chiquita,” they told me.
Then they tried to give me water with a syringe but I only drank when they stuck it deep into my mouth and I had no other choice. They also wanted me to eat a piece of pupusa but I couldn’t. The pain was unbearable and it was really hot in the crate. I was panting more and more. They wanted to give me a strange orange tablet, but because they couldn’t give it with the pupusa, they tried to stuck it in my mouth. Of course I’d always spit it out. So they made a liquid out of it and made me drink it. I couldn’t fight that. They also put a bandage on my leg after they put some brown water, where I had the wound.
We slept at the bomberos, me in front of the tent as I was soooo hot in the crate and they slept inside the tent. I slept through the night. The pain was a little better after the orange liquid they gave me. I was thinking about my puppies, if they ate something and how scared they must have been. I’m scared. I can tell these people are talking nicely to me and are petting me but I have too many bad experiences with humans.
In the morning they picked me up again and without their bicycles or the other dogs, they carried me to the big road. Are they going to dump me there? Me and the man were sitting in the shade, while the girl was waving at the cars. Soon one car stopped and we all got in. I’ve never been in the car, there’s actually a man operating this thing! It moved so fast, I was watching the world through the front window. But then I got tired again and put my head down on the girl. After some time we got off and another young man in white coat took us into the building. They put me on a special ground and read the number: “9.5 kilos.” Then they brought me into a room and put me on a high silver table. It was cold. The man in the white coat started touching and pressing me.
“There’s nothing broken, just contused,” he said.
Then they were talking for a long time about my puppies. How old they could be, judging from my breasts. And what will happen to them, if I don’t come back. And if they should bring me back on the street again, so I can go and find my puppies. And if I’m at all able to walk to look for them.
The boy and girl had tears in their eyes, looking at each other and nodding. They were telling me that I’ll be alright and this is a safe place. The man in the white coat will keep me here until I’m well and then he’ll find me a good and responsible family. I’ll never go back on the street.
I got 4 injections (I learned that’s what the stingy things are called). And ate two syringes of something thick and sweet. They sprayed me with special water all over so the ticks and fleas go away. It was so cold and wet, I didn’t like it all. The same as last night when they tried to put wet towel under me to cool me down, I would have never lied on it. Why should I lie in the wet? And they cleaned my wound too and put a new, slightly sticky bandage over it. When all this was happening, the boy was holding me on my side and the girl had her face next to mine, talking to me all the time. Then I put my nose under her arm. I decided she’s my friend too.
After all of that, the man in the white coat took me to the cage where I lied down and he put some water in there. Two cyclists came to pet me and then left. I stayed alone, only with a little kitten who lives above me. I went to sleep straight away. I dreamt about my babies. They were safe. Not hungry or thirsty anymore. They were there with many other puppies, playing, not having millions of ticks that eat them alive, not scared of anything.
In the afternoon I heard familiar voices.
“Hola Chiquita! Hola amiga!”
They came back to me.
I’m wagging my tail and I hope they understand what I mean.
Thank you for reading Chiqui’s story!
We’ve created a donate PayPal button so you can help us cover the costs of Chiqui’s treatment and neutering. Oscar, her vet from Hospital Veteinario del Sur in Choluteca, hasn’t asked us for any money for her. But he would have to cover it from his own pocket. So we’ve decided to pay the bill and he can help next animal in need sooner (trust me, there’s plenty of candidates).
The bill for Chiqui’s treatment was 2100 HNL + 1500 HNL for neutering when she’s recovered. This is about 150 $ = 130 € = 117 £.
Of course this cuts significantly into our budget, especially as we know, this is unfortunately not the last time we encountered such a case. We’ve already found an injured puppy in Guatemala who’s now with a new family and some years ago we helped Genaia in Greece and she’s got her home in the UK now.
Let’s call it “Pay it forward”. Do you remember the movie? Help us help on our journey. We’ve saved money for cycling journey from Canada to Argentina but all the extra costs of helping animals on the way will eventually make the journey shorter. Cutting the journey short will mean less animals who we will be able to help.
We’ll be grateful for any help!